for this game

Lecavalier strikes twice as Lightning top Predators

Nov 22, 2008 - 6:00 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Captain Vincent Lecavalier's early outburst was enough to give Rick Tocchet his first win as interim coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lecavalier scored two first-period goals and Ryan Malone notched three assists after missing four games with a lower body injury as the Lightning rolled past the Nashville Predators, 4-1, on Friday.

Mark Recchi and Vaclav Prospal also tallied as the Lightning enjoyed a successful effort under Tocchet, who took over for the fired Barry Melrose on November 14. Tampa Bay suffered shootout losses in Tocchet's first two games behind the bench.

"It's great. It's like scoring your first NHL goal," Tocchet said. "It's the last couple of games and how hard we worked. It was nice to get the win and get some goals for (goaltender Mike Smith). ... Overall, I thought for at least the first half of the game, we were really jumping and, you know, when you get in control, sometimes you lay back. We've got to make sure we don't lay back too much."

"It's nice to get a win for the confidence and knowing we can win," Lecavalier said. "But the last three games, I think we had a lot of energy, we were quick on the puck and we had a lot of opportunities."

The top overall pick in this past June's draft, Steven Stamkos set up two goals, giving him three points in his last two games after an eight-game drought.

Smith turned aside 34 shots, including 15 in the second period. The 26-year-old netminder has yielded three goals or less in nine of his last 11 contests.

"I felt good tonight," Smith said. "I felt like I was seeing it. (I) worked really hard the last three practices just to battle to find pucks, and it seems like there was a lot of traffic out there, so (you've) got to fight through that. But tonight, we battled and the team got some goals. (It was) a big win for the club."

Jordin Tootoo scored and Dan Ellis made 20 saves for the Predators, who dropped their second straight game after winning three in a row.

"It came down to poor decisions," Ellis said. "We're making basic hockey very difficult hockey. You don't throw pucks into the middle and you don't turn pucks over when you have plays.

"We have to be stronger, and especially when you go on the road. You're in someone else's building, they've got lots of energy, you've got a little bit of road legs. The main thing is, you've got to keep things simple."

Lecavalier opened the scoring five minutes into the game, converting the rebound of Malone's initial attempt during a man advantage. He struck again just over two minutes later, firing a slap shot from the slot past Ellis at 7:05 for his ninth goal of the season.

"It felt pretty good to get a lead tonight," Lecavalier said. "After that, we had a lot of power plays, a lot of penalty-killing, but it's good to get the win."

Lecavalier entered with just one tally in his previous eight games. During his 40-goal campaign last season, the three-time All-Star netted his ninth goal on November 8.

Tootoo halved the deficit with 9:20 left the session, but Recchi restored Tampa Bay's two-goal lead 97 seconds later. After defenseman Marek Malik had his shot stopped by Ellis, Recchi grabbed the rebound and buried it from the doorstep.

"When you score three goals on a team, a lot of times it's going to take the wind out of a team," Lecavalier said. "I don't think they came as hard as us. We took it to them, we shot the puck, it went in and like I said, our goalie played great, so the advantage of playing at home is that quick start, and we took advantage tonight."

Prospal capped the scoring at 6:32 of the second, putting a backhander past Ellis for his fourth tally of the season.

"The guys have to know that they worked hard tonight," Predators captain Jason Arnott said. "It just didn't go our way. (Smith) played unbelievable for them. We tried to create traffic as much as we could, and it didn't happen for us tonight. So we can't hang our heads, we've got to stay positive in here and keep working at it, and it will come."

The Predators are winless in five visits to Tampa Bay since posting a 3-0 win on March 24, 1999.

"You dig yourself a hole," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We gave them the game in the first period just by the turnovers and the decisions. ... We had lots of chances.

"I thought Smith played quite well for them. The power play had lots of chances, we had the opportunities to inch back in the game, but Smith stood tall. I understand he's been playing really well all year with them. He closed the door."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 3 1 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 8 (STEVEN STAMKOS, RYAN
    MALONE) 4:57
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 9 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 7:05
    NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 3 (GREG ZANON) 10:40
    TAM - MARK RECCHI 4 (MAREK MALIK, RYAN MALONE) 12:17
    2ND

    Nov 21 10:00 PM
  • 15
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Predators 1, Lightning 4  3rd - 4:50Nov 21 9:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 0 1
    TAMPA BAY 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 8 (STEVEN STAMKOS, RYAN
    MALONE) 4:57
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 9 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 7:05
    NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 3 (GREG ZANON) 10:40
    TAM - MARK RECCHI 4 (MAREK MALIK, RYAN MALON

    Nov 21 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    TAMPA BAY 4
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 4 (RYAN MALONE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 6:32

    Predators 1, Lightning 4  2nd - 13:28Nov 21 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 8 (STEVEN STAMKOS, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 4:57
    TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 9 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 7:05
    NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 3 (GREG ZANON) 10:40
    TAM - MARK RECCHI 4 (MAREK MALIK, RYAN

    Nov 21 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    TAMPA BAY 3
    1ST PRD: TAM - MARK RECCHI 4 (MAREK MALIK, RYAN MALONE) 12:17

    Predators 1, Lightning 3  1st - 7:43Nov 21 8:03 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Predators 1, Lightning 2  1st - 9:20Nov 21 8:00 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: NAS - JORDIN TOOTOO 3 (GREG ZANON) 10:40

    Predators 1, Lightning 2  1st - 9:20Nov 21 7:58 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 9 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS) 7:05

    Predators 0, Lightning 2  1st - 12:55Nov 21 7:53 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - (PP) VINCENT LECAVALIER 8 (STEVEN STAMKOS, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 4:57 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Predators 0, Lightning 1  1st - 15:03Nov 21 7:49 PM